Cities, regions and countries around the world are moving ahead with the transition to electric mobility. As we discuss in this month’s issue of Charged, island communities are especially keen to get plugged in, because of their high energy prices and environmental challenges. However, as far as we know, the Caribbean island of Aruba is the first locality to announce a plan to electrify all its vehicles, public and private.
Aruba has adopted a plan to become an emissions-free nation by the year 2020, which includes electrifying all the island’s vehicles. This month, the government signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with China-based BYD to purchase a range of clean tech products, including electric vehicles and grid-scale energy storage.
In the first phase of the project, Aruba plans to place into service four BYD electric buses and one BYD e6 electric taxi by the end of September. The nation also plans to use BYD’s iron phosphate grid-scale storage technology to vastly improve its wind and solar generation capacity.
Prime Minister Mike Eman said, “In our transition phase towards 100% sustainability, BYD will support Aruba demonstrating how to convert all our vehicles, including cars, buses, taxis and all private and public vehicles into electrified transportation.”
At this point, the Aruban government has not announced any details about how the transition to 100% EVs will be accomplished, beyond the purchase of the BYD buses and taxi. However, the Prime Minister stated the ambitious goal pretty plainly, so this will be a fascinating story to watch as it unfolds.